Ofcom Share Opinions on AI Concerns

Ofcom, the UK tech watchdog, have shared their thoughts on what the rapid development of AI means for society.

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While adding absolutely nothing new to the debate- Ofcom discuss what generative AI may mean for the communications industry.

By simply repeating warnings and concerns we’ve heard before, Ofcom have shared what they think of the AI race currently dominating headlines worldwide. They do make some valid methods, however, in which this AI could be utilised. 

”Voice clones created by generative AI tools could be used to scam people over the phone by impersonating loved ones. Fraudsters could also use generative AI models to create more effective phishing content.” The watchdog warns. ”Generative AI could pose various risks to users of online services, for instance by enabling people to more easily access instructions for self-harm or by providing advice on smuggling illegal substances.”

Ofcom have, on one hand, suggested these risks that the development of AI poses. Thankfully they’ve refrained from the whole ‘existential crisis’ that’s seeming all too familiar in recent news. On the other hand, they’ve recognized what use AI can provide and how for the communication sector it promises to ”disrupt traditional service delivery, business models and consumer behaviour”. 

Ofcom also recognise the role generative AI may have in the different industries. This includes the production of special effects in the TV industry and in monitoring networks. Due to this, the watchdog aren’t calling for a halt to the development of these tools, rather the process to be better monitored and applied to conscientiously. 

Despite Ofcom’s attempts at neutrality here, it seems as though there’s been a nudge on their behalf to bring the AI race into the guidelines of the controversial Online Safety Bill. It’s truly interesting how the organisation is trying to bring together some support for a bill that messaging giants such as Whatsapp state poses an ”unprecedented threat to the privacy, safety and security of every UK citizen.

So, what’s Ofcom doing to regulate this?

As well as voicing both concerns and hopes, Ofcom state that they are actively working with generative AI and monitoring its technology as well as the impact it may have on people. They will also be publishing information based on how AI as a whole may be affecting the industries they work to regulate. 

As well as following the AI, they’re also following the AI detection software in development and reviewing the the evidence surrounding them. 

Telcos should take note of this information as some of the biggest customers for AI, using it for everything from predicting spikes on network traffic to enhanced customer care and service recommendation engines. 

Despite Ofcom’s new threat of close monitoring, the AI race will continue to barrel on to new things. Just this week, telco software Amdocs launched an AI (named amAIz), to allow CSPs to utilise AI to their advantage. 

To conclude, Ofcom say they’re ”pleased to see so many stakeholders across our sectors undertaking work to realise the benefits of AI while minimising the potential risks.”

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